What is a Doula?
The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth.
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
Who Am I?
I am just a wife, mother, home educator, cook, cleaner, self studied personal wellness coach, herbal student and now I am a Certified Birth Doula with Childbirth International. I have been blessed to attended four births besides my own and one which was a beautiful VBAC. Every time I walk through labor with a woman I am more convinced that this is one my gifts and passions. And every time I see another birth, I bear witness to the miracle of life. I dont know if I will ever be able to hold back the tears at my clients births. Its such a precious moment and the bond and feelings are so intense in a beautiful way.
What made me decide to become a doula?
My passion for natural birthing came shortly after my first was born into the world on June 5, 2004. After being ten days late, my Dr scheduled me for an induction. After 44 hours of labor and some fetal distress (and truth me told, mother distress) I was told that I would need to have a cesarean. I was SO devastated that I burst into tears on my way into the operating room. Once in the OR my arms were strapped down and surgery began. The one medication made me extremely nauseated and I was dry heaving while in a totally flat position, trying to at least turn my head in case I would throw up. One of the other medications made me feel like I could not breathe and that was a really scary feeling. It didnt take too long for my baby to be born, a boy. However, after his birth he was whisked away to be weighed, measured, etc while I was being stitched back together. After that was finished I was wheeled into recovery where I stayed for two long hours, totally separated from my precious first born. Finally, I was in a regular hospital and finally I was reunited with my precious little bundle. Within a day I ended up with a fever, indicating a uterine infection, but thankfully it resolved on its own. After that birth I was very afraid to even think of another child.
Fast forward to 2008 and I had decided I was going to do everything different in order to avoid another cesarean. I found a home birth midwife to support me and found an AWESOME doula. I was sure this labor and birth would be totally different from my previous one. In some ways it definitely was. It was wonderful to labor at home and in a birth tub. It was also incredible to have a doula there supporting me (and my hubby) every step of the way. Unfortunately things were not progressing and after pushing for what seemed to be an eternity with no baby in sight, I decided to be transferred to the local hospital. I knew my demise would be another cesarean but at that point, I was fine with it. My doula stayed with me for every moment and even in the OR provided such a positive experience for me that was nothing like my previous one in so many ways. She brought the baby to me while still being sewn back together and I was able to spend the time in the recovery room with my baby right next to me. This second birth was certainly not nearly as traumatizing as my first one but I was still afraid to think of another child. No abdominal surgery sounds like something you would purposely sign up for.
Along comes 2011 and I am really thinking I would like to try one more time for a natural delivery. They say three times the charm, right? I knew I would be up for a HUGE fight to deliver naturally in my area and so I started off searching for supportive midwives. I found just what I was looking for at Reading Women and Birth Center and traveled over an hour for my prenatal care for nine months. It was well worth it though because on December 16, 2011 I gave birth to a beautiful little girl, a VBA2C! I still marvel to this day at what seems like a miracle to me. My heart was in deep need of healing from past negative birthing experiences and I am very grateful for God allowing me to have this VBA2C.
As of November 2016 I am a doula & birth assistant for Copper Creek Midwifery in Danville, Kentucky. I am so honored to be a part of an amazing group of people with a passion to serve the pregnant women in their communities. While I know that I will face many challenges as a doula and birth assistant, I hope that I can leave many mothers with a positive view of birth. Birth is normal and birth is beautiful.
I am also currently seeking to pursue further education in all things related to pregnancy and birth as finances permit. It is my highest honor to empower, educate and encourage women to trust their bodies!